Irma is a passionate explorer, writer, traveler, and historian.
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Bosnian meat pie, called ‘burek’, is one of the most popular, traditional dishes served in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Generally, the pie (in Bosnian ‘pita’) is made with homemade phyllo dough, or as in some quicker versions, it can be also made with store-bought phyllo dough. The dough can be filled with either meat, cheese, potato, spinach or pumpkin. Hence, depending on the filling, the ‘pita’ will get a different name.
The one filled with ground beef is called ‘burek’, a pie filled with cheese is called ‘sirnica’ (cheese pie), the one with potato is called ‘krompiruša’ (potato pie) and so on. Though ‘burek’ is the queen of all the Bosnian pies, and people living in this Balkan country will always pick it on the menu first.
But what is it that makes this Bosnian dish so special? Locals, as well as tourists who have tasted it, state that you simply cannot visit or live in Bosnia without eating ‘burek’ several times a week.
This version of the Bosnian meat pie – is the quicker one, since it is easier to make, and even beginners in the kitchen can dare to prepare ‘burek’.
The ingredients that you will need for the ‘burek’:
- 2 packages of store-bought phyllo dough (500 g. each)
- 500 g. ground beef
- 2 medium sized onions
- 100 g. butter
- Sour cream
- 1 cup oil
How to make the ground beef filling for the ‘burek’:
- Take a large bowl and place 500 grams of ground beef into it.
- Peel and dice up the onions into small pieces. The onions will be mixed with the meat.
- Add a half teaspoon of salt and some ground pepper.
- Mix all the ingredients in the bowl and leave it aside.
And here is how we make ‘burek’ at home:
1. Pour one glass of milk into a pot and add 100 grams of butter. The butter and milk should be heated so that the butter melts and mixes in with the milk. Once it is melted, add one teaspoon of sour cream to the mixture and stir it slowly.
2. Open the phyllo dough packages and lay them out on the kitchen table or counter. Place a casserole on top the phyllo dough and using the kitchen scissors – cut the phyllo dough into the shape of a casserole dish. (Set the edges aside because they will also be used later).
3. Pour half a cup of oil into the casserole and splatter it with your hands, so that every inch of the casserole is covered with oil.
4. Take two dough rolls that you have previously cut and place them inside the casserole. Next, pour in some of the milk and butter mixture, making sure to spread it all over the dough rolls equally. Take some of the leftover edge pieces and place them into the casserole as well.
5. Grab some of the meat filling and spread it into the casserole, making sure that there are no large areas inside the dish that are not covered with the filling. Similar to this:
6. Add some more of the milk-butter mixture onto the meat filling, and cover everything with another layer of dough (including its edges).
7. Repeat the same process until you use up of all the meat filling and the dough. However, make sure to leave aside two dough rolls for the top layer of the ‘burek’. Once you have placed them inside the casserole as well, you can add another half cup of oil and spread it all over the pie.
8. Cover the casserole with an aluminum foil and bake the pie inside the oven, at about 250°C; 10 minutes later lower the temperature to 200°C.
‘Burek’ usually needs to be baked in the oven for about half an hour, but you need to check it from time to time, to make sure that it doesn’t burn.
Once you remove ‘burek’ out of the oven, spray it with a little bit of water, and cut it into several slices. Let it cool off for about 10 minutes. And now you are finally ready to enjoy the tastiest homemade ‘burek’ that you have ever had. Enjoy it!